What Is The Difference Between Nail Psoriasis and Fungal Infection

Our hands can tell about the lifestyle we live, habits we have, and most importantly, about the state of our health. Changes in the nail structure can be a sign of numerous diseases that are difficult to determine. Let’s talk about the differences between nail psoriasis and fungal infection, or onychomycosis.

Nails are appendages of the skin

Nails are the appendages of the skin, the hard horn-like envelopes covering the tips of the fingers and toes. They consist of the protein keratin, which provides their solid structure. The main role of nails is protection.

What is nail psoriasis?

Nail psoriasis occurs in 50% of patients suffering from psoriasis. For unknown reasons, fingernails are the more often affected areas.

Violation of the nail structure can be caused by autoimmune disorders, metabolism, and other complex biochemical processes. The disease is chronic with periodic relapses. It cannot be cured completely.

What is onychomycosis?

Onychomycosis, or fungal infection, is an infectious disease of mycotic origin. It is caused by fungi Trichophyton.

Usually, it is related to poor personal hygiene: sharing personal hygiene products, visiting public steam rooms, saunas, swimming pools, etc.

Often the toenails are also affected. The disease can be cured by properly following all medical recommendations.

How to not confuse nail psoriasis and fungus

The nail structure significantly changes under the influence of external and internal factors. In the case of psoriasis and fungal infection (onychomycosis), the symptoms are very similar:

  • change of the nail color;
  • change in the structure of the nail plate;
  • deformation of the nail plate;
  • physical discomfort.

It is necessary to correctly determine the symptoms of psoriasis and nail fungal infection.

Criteria for distinctionPsoriasisOnychomycosis
Nature of the diseasechronic autoimmunefungal infection
Contagiousnessnon contagiouscan be transmitted
Localizationthe nails on the hands and toenailsmostly toenails, rarely the hands
Presence of smellabsentunpleasant odor
Color of the nail plateyellowdark color, greenish, pearly hue
Structural lesions of the nail – at the initial stages dark dots on the nail plate are formed;
– formation of white spots;
– deformation of the nail plate;
– the nail plates are thickened and separate from the nail bed, forming some niches where pathogenic bacteria and fungi can settle;
– a symptom of an “oil stain”.
– can hit one nail plate,
– gradually hitting all the others;
– the edges are jagged and crumbled;
– the presence of hyperkeratoses.
Spreading to other skin areasMay be accompanied by eruptions on the bodyNail plates on both legs can be affected

Diagnosing: another method of determining

It so happens that psoriasis can be accompanied by a fungal infection due to disruptions in immunity, metabolism, and other changes. In those cases, additional diagnostic methods might be needed.

determined diagnosis

Microscopic examination of a piece of the affected nail is needed to determine the pathogenic fungal flora that accompanies psoriasis.

Difference in treatment

The identical symptoms often lead to incorrect treatment. You should immediately contact a specialist. Only a doctor can differentiate and determine the reason for pathological changes. Self-treatment not only leads to a useless waste of money and time, but also causes various complications.

The difference between the treatment methods:

Psoriasis of the nailsOnychomycosis (nail fungus)
there is no complete curetherapy lasts up to six months
symptomatic treatment
(antihistamines, hormones, sedatives, etc.)
oral intake of antimycotic drugs
local application of ointments
with antihistamine, hormonal properties
external application of antifungal medicines
physiotherapy with the use of UVB lamptreatment continues until a healthy nail plate grows
constant use of the same drug does not affect the quality of treatmentit is impossible to apply the same ointment for a long time, there is a risk of development of resistance of pathogenic flora to the medication
visit to dermatologist and an immunologistdermatologist observation
the disease can’t be completely cured, high risk of recurrencepossible relapse in case of an untreated disease

In the case of a combined infection (psoriasis and fungal infection), the physician selects a treatment according to the condition of the patient. There is a possibility of combining several drugs..

How to protect yourself

Prevention of diseases is an effective method of treatment. Nail psoriasis and fungal infection is no exception, however, there is a difference in preventive measures.

For psoriasis:

  • all factors that can trigger a relapse should be excluded;
  • sanitation of chronic foci of infection;
  • proper nutrition – which means no alcohol, fast food, sausages, etc.;
  • use UVB lamps during remission;
  • strengthen immunity;
  • use cosmetics that reduce the dryness of the skin;
  • with the slightest change in the skin or nail plate, consult a specialist immediately.

Nail fungal infection requires:

  • attention to personal hygiene;
  • exclusion of contact with an infected person, use only personal bath accessories, shoes, socks, etc;
  • use of slippers in steam rooms, saunas, public showers, etc;
  • consulting a doctor in case of any changes in the nail structure or unpleasant odor.

Ignoring pathological changes, not going to a specialist in time, and self-treatment lead to the development of complications. It delays the period of remission and can provoke a relapse in either case.

Posted: September 20, 2018 by UVB-lamps Team 3,586
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